When planning an overseas TEFL adventure you need to consider that there are likely to be some initial expenses to cover. These might include the cost of a TEFL qualification, airfare to your destination, and living expenses while you wait for your first pay day.
How much does online TEFL certification cost?
One investment that you will not regret is your initial TEFL certification course. Online TEFL courses are very popular as they give you the freedom to study how and when you choose. They are also very affordable as they start at less than $200. To get started all you need is access to an internet ready computer and a bit of self-motivation to see you through your studies. Just remember that many employers will expect your TEFL qualification to be of at least 100 hours duration. Shorter courses are ideal for volunteer positions, but if you want to apply for well paid jobs we recommend our 120-hour TEFL certification course.
Do employers ever pay for airfares when teaching English abroad?
Although some teachers stay and work in their home country, most will head overseas to teach. For the majority of teachers this means having to cover the cost of transport to your destination which usually involves an expensive airfare. However, in some cases the employer will cover all or part of this expense which can obviously save you a considerable sum of money. This scenario is common in many Middle East countries, as well as countries such as China and South Korea.
What expenses will I need to cover on arrival in my teaching location?
Wherever you go to teach English you will need enough cash to get you through to your fist payday. If you are teaching in Europe or Latin America, the chances are you will need to head to your destination first and then start interviewing for jobs. As an estimate you will need to budget for at least two weeks of job hunting and then another month to take you up to payday. During this time you will need funds for accommodation, meals, public transport, phone credit, and other everyday expenses. In Western Europe an average budget would be in the range of $2000 to $3000, while you could probably get by on around half that figure in much of Eastern Europe.
As the cost of living is generally much lower across Latin America it is possible to get by on as little as $750 to $1000 for a similar time span. However, if you have a job in place before you leave home, which is particularly common in much of Asia and the Middle East, your required budget will obviously be reduced. Many jobs that are organised in advance also come with free or subsidized accommodation which will reduce your start up costs even further.